Top Gear and Diesel

The hosts of this show seem to have a rather strong dislike of diesel engines. Is this entirely an anti-eco-hippy thing, or do they have a practical reason of some sort for thinking diesel sucks?

Top Gear Likes sports cars.
There are no diesel sports cars.
-> diesel sucks.

Diesel engines in regular cars will not go as fast as their petrol equivalent ( diesel will give higher torque, but less power). That is what Jezza is particularly against (ruining a perfectly good high-performance car by chucking a diesel engine in it). In the UK (I’m not sure where you’re based) is pretty much taken for granted that big 4x4s (SUVs in US parlance) will be diesel.

Along the same lines I may be missing a bit of British Humor.

When they decided to plant seeds for Bio-fuel they did the whole episode taking about rapeseed.

Then later after it was harvested Clarkson went on a rant about how it was the wrong stuff and they ended up with x gallons of Diesel.

Was that a joke, or had somebody badly miscacluated and they thought they were going to get Ethanol from Rapeseed?

Because diesel cars are slower.

Honestly, since when do the three of them care about anything else?

Also, in most cases diesel engines wind up making their host vehicle heavier and more expensive than their gasoline equivalents.
Dunno if this is a problem in the UK, but in the US at least one brand of diesel engine has finnicky and very expensive fuel injectors, so repair costs can be a pain…

Yes, it was a joke, one big dig (pun not intended :smiley: ) at the biofuel industry and its associated green trendiness, for being irrelevant to anyone needing petrol.

Edit: to be fair, they do give diesels a decent press when they deserve it, such as the diesel Jag on the Nurburgring, or the recent episode where they drove from Switzerland to Blackpool (IIRC 650 miles), in their choice of normal production car, on one tank of fuel.

Not nesser celery!

My son in law just bought himself a diesel Alfa Romeo GT Cloverleaf and it is better on acceleration, top speed and fuel economy than the petrol equivalent.

Quicker than his BMW 525, cheaper to run than his Fiat Grande Punto diesel.

Or when they drove a diesel in a 24 hour Le Mans style endurance race.

I can’t believe I am writing in a car thread. I hate cars, I hate Jeremy Clarkson, but I love Top Gear.

When they are James May. Have you *watched *the show?

It’s not so much about speed as about class and refinement. Diesel engines have a reputation for sounding like a tractor. Top Gear presenters want either whisper-quietness (in a luxury car) or jet-engine raucousness (in a performance car). Chugga-chugga-chugga just doesn’t cut it.

They once tested a diesel convertible audi and actually kinda liked it.

  • until they started it up.
    I think the line was something like.
    “oh my god, its a massey-ferguson”.

hello, anyway
I’m quite surprised at what I read here, living in France both my wife and myself have diesel cars, (a Citroen C3 pluriel 1.4l, and a Hyundai 4x4 2.00l) The 1.4l citroen motor is a bit light at high speeds (over 140km/h) but the car is easy to drive, mainly in sub-urban use. The big car pushes 160cv, diesel is not a concern even on a 1900 kg vehicule. There is no noise difference, no “tractor” sound, and actually the citroen dosen’t even preheat, just turn the key to start.
The main difference seems to be on service, these hdi/cdi motors run fine with no intervention till about 100 000km (no plugs etc) but at that point normal diesel replacement (injectors etc) is expensive. Here in France the price difference between gasoline and diesel made the choice quite easy, even evident for heavy rollers like us, but a diesel breakdown is “very” expensive.
I do insist that these recent diesel cars are indiscernable from gasoline for the common user, both of us are big rollers, doing some 120 000km /year and are quite demanding on confort in our cars, though the choice of diesel was financial (here), noise or power is not an issue.

Since when does Captain Slow’s opinion count?

  1. You live in France

  2. You drive diesels

  3. You drive a Citroen and a Hyundai

Clarkson would have a field day.

Diesels. Sound. Horrible.

Edit: I associate them with taxis. As a road-user I have a pathological hatred for taxis, for them the rules don’t apply.

Common rail diesels found in modern cars such as cplif’s Citroen and Hyundai don’t sound horrible. The idea of diesels as smoky and noisy is a few years out of date.

Comparing diesel vs petrol:

+Higher power (more torque at high rpm, better performance at high speeds)
+Cheaper fuel (Particularly in the US: $1.70/gal petrol, $2.52/gal diesel)
+Lighter (cheaper to make, more power/mass)

+Higher peak torque (at low rpm; good for accelerating heavy things from a stop)
+20-30% More fuel efficient (higher compression, leaner fuel mixture)
+Heavier (longer engine life)

Possibly another reason Jezza doesn’t like them, they are popular with the French :slight_smile:

I have a diesel Jetta and I like the way it sounds.